There’s still a long way to go for virtual reality.

3D graphics aren’t quite ‘real-enough’ yet and rendering photographic footage isn’t entirely smooth. But even still, what we’re finally seeing from major brands who’re coming to the party and the products that they’re entering into the market – we’re waiting like small children for shiny new toys. Just like when you watch an old movie, with shoddy CGI, back then with no comparison they were amazing! We’re still at this point for VR but it’s easy to see how quickly it’s developing. Major tech companies like Facebook, Samsung, Sony and others are pouring billions of dollars into this technology. And soon enough reality will never be the same!

 

Immersive videos, the first baby steps into VR.

Immersive videos are a few minutes long and give users a completely spherical view of their environment. Google started off with their ‘immersive videos’ in 2015 on youtube. It’s become a great selling tool for marketing too!

Here’s a few good clips on brands getting on board:  

Go Pro: Land, Sea, Air clip

Discovery Channel: Mythbusters with Sharks

The Wall Street Journal: New York Fashion Week

They also released Cardboard as the mechanic to view the videos.

Facebook then followed suit and have release their new 360 experience videos live on facebook. To create 360 videos, a special set of cameras is used to record all 360 degrees of a scene simultaneously. This means that when the video is playing on Facebook, you can choose what angle you want to see it from. In the future, imagine watching 360 videos of a friend’s vacation to a small village in France or a festival in Brazil — you’ll be able to look around and experience it as if you were there. Along with updates from your friends and family, you will also be able to discover amazing new content on Facebook from media companies, organizations, and individual creators. Here’s a cool example that Star Wars made to preview their latest film.

Watch link.

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Headsets and consoles – the game changers for VR

The Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift started as an independent project from Palmer Luckey, a gaming enthusiast who thought he could build a better / more affordable virtual reality experience. His kickstarter campaign aimed to start mass-producing the Oculus Rift for developers. The Kickstarter video included testimonies from nearly every single big name in gaming – the big boys club of gaming. In less than 24 hours it raised over $US2.4 million. By 2014 Oculus doubled down and accepted help from Facebook, which acquired the company for $US2 billion in March of that 2015. Seeing Luckey’s success, other companies started to dabble in virtual reality. Samsung’s jumped on board with the $US200 Gear VR headset, which is powered by Oculus VR.

More about Oculus

Oculus Demo

Sony’s Project Morpheus

Sony’s Project Morpheus headset is coming in 2016. Sony first unveiled its virtual reality headset “Project Morpheus” in March 2014. One year later, the company announced the device will be ready to ship next year. Sony has one major advantage over Oculus/Valve and that is that millions of people already own the company’s PlayStation 4, which provides a giant audience for any new content coming to the Morpheus headset. Of course, that’s a double-edged sword: Since the headset will require a PlayStation 4 to work, Project Morpheus is also confined by the PlayStation 4’s technical limitations. Critics say it’s extremely lightweight and it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing goggles.

Here’s Top 10: Reasons To Be Excited For Morpheus  

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is a partnership with Valve, the giant gaming company that runs the world’s most popular store for distributing digital games, Steam. Unlike the other VR headsets on this list, the Vive works thanks to sensors in the headset and two controllers you hold in your hands — HTC built a tracking system that emits a laser array in your living room so it can sense the walls, the headset and the hand controllers, which will allow you to move freely around the room as you do so in the game.

More about Vive

Sensors/goggles/graphics/renders/footage/controllers… welcome to the VR future!